Posted: 7:54 am Friday, August 29th, 2014

South Carolina’s collapse opens the East for UGA 

By Mark Bradley

I'm guessing this pass was completed. (Rainier Erhardt/AP)

I’m guessing this pass was completed. (Rainier Erhardt/AP)

Two thoughts occurred Thursday night. (And only two; I’m not exactly a deep thinker.) First, that South Carolina, having been routed by Texas A&M, will be in desperation mode when Georgia plays in Williams-Brice Stadium on Sept. 13. Second, that the Gamecocks mightn’t be good enough for it to matter.

I’ve been around the SEC long enough — I covered my first conference game in 1976 — that not much surprises me. South Carolina being picked over Georgia in the East did. The Gamecocks had lost the best quarterback in school history (Connor Shaw of Flowery Branch) and the best defender in school history (Jadeveon Clowney), and somehow they were going to win what they hadn’t won with either in place? (Stephen Garcia was the No. 1 quarterback when South Carolina took the East in 2010; Clowney was in high school.)

I’d be lying if I said I saw A&M’s 52-28 road victory coming. I thought it would have a chance — Kevin Sumlin is a very good coach who has recruited at a high level — but the Aggies were missing three NFL first-rounders (Jake Matthews, Mike Evans and Johnny Manziel) off a four-loss team. But new quarterback Kenny Hill — a sophomore whose dad Ken was the No. 1 starter on the 1994 Montreal Expos, who led the Braves by six games when the strike washed out the remainder of the season — threw for 511 yards, more than even Johnny Football managed, in his first start.

The Aggies gained 680 yards, the most by any South Carolina opponent ever, and scored on five of six first-half possessions. The heat in Columbia again falls on defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward, whose charges (Clowney included) yielded 536 yards and 41 points in the loss to Georgia last season. After this latest defensive collapse, Steve Spurrier asked reporters” “Did anybody like that 3-4 defense? I don’t know if it would have mattered if we played a 6-6 defense.”

None of this means Georgia is a lock to win anything. It could lose to Clemson, though I doubt it will. It could still lose to South Carolina. (Hutson Mason might not be as good as Kenny Hill.) But the team picked to win the SEC East is in real danger of starting the conference season 0-2 — with two home losses! — and there could be no coming back from that.

Oh, and in case you missed it: Vanderbilt lost its opener, the start of which was delayed by thunderstorms until nearly 11 p.m. EDT, to Temple. The score was 37-7. The game was played in Nashville. The SEC East is 0-2.

480 comments
C-Kirk
C-Kirk

Georgia and everyone else has a much better chance at beating South Carolina this year because they don't have Shaw or Clowney. Shaw could throw but you had to away be ready for him to run. He was a great runner and didn't go down easily. As for Clowney , every team that played South Carolina put 2 or 3 blockers on him. That doesn't leave many players to deal with  their other threats. I know Spurrier was talking like South Carolina was going to be great but what he was trying to do was put confidence into the team. Spurrier knows that they don't have nearly as good of a team without Shaw and Clowney but he not going to say that out loud.

wreckmaniac
wreckmaniac

We all know that UGA will screw this up. They always do.

JaySly
JaySly

georgia beats sc by 10+ and cruises to the east title with beatdowns over missouri, florida and tennessee.  In the SEC title game, it will be ga v alabama or texas a&m---anything can happen in that game.

FrankFraticelli
FrankFraticelli

From what I saw the two things we were most concerned about showed reasonable improvement: special teams and the defense. And two of our best receivers were not even on the field. Happy with a win over a ranked opponent in the first game. Who else played and defeated a ranked team other than A& M? So far, so good.

RockyTopp
RockyTopp

Friday morning headline :

South Carolina’s collapse opens the East for UGA

Sunday morning headline after the Carolina game

UGA's collapse opens the East for Tennessee


WeRunTheEast
WeRunTheEast

Jeeperscrow also too emotionally balanced.

WeRunTheEast
WeRunTheEast

SnagglePuss- you are unlike most Dawg fans who must think it was UGA getting the win against SC. My gosh, why wait to see if maybe UGA lays an egg like SC and loses to Clemson. The evil genius, the OBC, the anti-dog and his team were beaten and humiliated at home! Seems most Dawg fans count that as a great UGA victory.

You may be to balanced emotionally to be a Dawg!

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

" Hutson Mason might not be as good as Kenny Hill. "


You think ?  You wrote your article, reading mine, sir.

SECFactFinder
SECFactFinder

If The SEC Network re-airs the A & M/ South Carolina game, look at one thing closely.  A & M really used the rub play very well,  on a couple of three big plays and one touchdown the flag could have been thrown as it was closer to a pick or screen than a rub.  The DB's for USC did not make any adjustments at all and their drop zone coverage allowed a great deal of space for the big receivers from A & M to roam.  A good team who can mix up man and hybrid man should have much better results against Hill, with one caveat ......a pass rush that at least makes Hill a little uncomfortable.

KeepinItSimple
KeepinItSimple

I am not getting too hyped yet.  Every time I do the Dawgs let me down.  Even if we beat Clemson and SC we will probably lose to UK and Vandy.


One thing to think about.  On paper the South Carolina defense has as good or better talent/experience as UGA right now.  I sure hope Pruitt is a genius.


On a side note I cannot believe the lack of class that Vandy showed with that stupid uniform.  Then again, I guess I can, because they let Franklin coach there and he embodies no class.  They made the SEC look like a bunch of punks.  Might as well put 'He hate me' on the back and spread stories about how they lost because they were saving a bunch of nephews from drowning.  

Harlemdawg
Harlemdawg

Remember spurrier had to tell them a few years ago when they lost a close one to auburn ... and i quote....."dont clap when we lose a game. there's no,morale victory in sports"! He won't be there much longer. Has to pay for his aug nat membership then done.

Harlemdawg
Harlemdawg

Has anyone heard from "we run the east"? Well..guess not... had to work over there today. Silence was deafening. boat raced at home to start! Not good! Wasn't it a lot easier with no expectations? Seats emptied in the third. Not Williams- Brice ish?

dixiedrifter
dixiedrifter

South Carolina, by it's play on Thursday evening, demonstrates beyond a doubt, they suck in 2014......."How Bout Them Dogs"?

Jack5150
Jack5150

Richt quote,"We hate inexperience on the back end." 

Buck quote,"We need the other players looking at the sky(meaning on their back) to win."

It sounds like the dWags need to play the UGa CoEds. They have experience in the Back End and they can get guys on their backs.......

kls82883
kls82883

Clemson 38 Nutlickers  12.   Richt started his period last night.

kls82883
kls82883

No. No, it doesn't. Uga, Richt, and Co. will find a way to screw it up.

BeachGaBulldog
BeachGaBulldog

The sweetest thing was seeing Spurrier getting 52 points scored on his team, in his own backyard!

Borodawg
Borodawg

Does Darth Visor hate UGA so much that SC was looking ahead? 

TU
TU

@RockyTopp It will be interesting to see Jone's spread offense managed by a pocket passer.


Dewnsav
Dewnsav

@WeRunTheEast spin it all you want...the vast majority of UGA fans know it will be a war in Columbia...the A&M game is over...but you keep on hoping and believing...after that beat down, that's all you got...go dogs

GaryFr
GaryFr

@SECFactFinder - I didn't watch it, the first time and I won't watch it if it's replayed.
Like the kid, in the 2011 remake of Footloose, I'm a Georgia Dawg...through and through.

Therefore, I'm not interested in seeing A&M or South Carolina, until they're getting whipped by the Mighty Dawgs of UGA!!

Dewnsav
Dewnsav

@SECFactFinder FactFinder, good to see you back...rub, pick, or whatever, teams are going to wear out with the frenetic pace of the Aggies Offense...agreeing a pass rush would help, but those big guys rushing the QB play after play takes a toll...that will be the marching orders of the DC's starting this year is to figure out how to stop the fast paced offenses as more and more teams are going to it...I believe you can frustrate them by your offense grinding it out keeping the ball out of their hands...go dogs

DawginCO
DawginCO

@KeepinItSimple On paper?  No.  SC has recruited well but they have not recruited as well as Georgia.  It doesn't require a genius for this defense to improve.  It requires a coach that feels it is necessary to teach fundamentals and not cram a NFL playbook down his kids throats, and expect them to get it in a month.


The Dawgs defense will be improved.  And all the other little nay sayer worries will be answered in part in about 22 hours or so.  If the Dawgs let you down and you are big enough to take it then stop pretending to be a fan.  That is keeping it simple.

TrueDawg1986
TrueDawg1986

@KeepinItSimple  So go crawl into a hole and be a naysayer until the Dawgs win so you can come out and act like you were a TRUE fan all along....BANDWAGON JUMPER

WeRunTheEast
WeRunTheEast

You are late to the posting board, Harlem. I was all over the AJC Friday morning. Take your swings, kick me in the head. SC looked very bad on D (slight understatement- wretched, putrid, ACC like, more accurately describes the defense).

I may change my handle from WeRunTheEast to "SECparticipant".

See you Dawgs later today. I will not run and hide.

TrueDawg1986
TrueDawg1986

@Harlemdawg  LMAO...I got home late and turned on the TV mid 3rd Q and could have sworn that ISIS had called in a nuclear bomb threat that required the LittleCock "fans" to evacuate.....MAN that was SWEEET to see.


NOW UGA needs to take care of business!  Go Dawgs!

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@dixiedrifter 


I am going to wait until  A F T E R the UGA/Clemson  game and the UGA/USC game  before I get carried away. USCs passing game(may be our biggest weakness) looked very good and Mike Davis likely will be ready in two weeks so I won't be eating crow if the wheels fall off the UGA Express.


Certainly the Dawgs are capable of winning it all but that weird shaped ball sometimes takes crazy bounces. To win it   A L L   you have to be consistent and have some luck when you need it.


Remember The BARN last year??????????????

TrueDawg1986
TrueDawg1986

@Jack5150  Wow, what a super intellectual TROLLING post by our own resident village idiot POAG...thought you would be flogging molly by now!

Grant1296
Grant1296

@Jack5150 perhaps Poad..Not you though...Not enough alcohol in athens(or the state of Georgia)for that to ever happen...

kls82883
kls82883

@BeachGaBulldog Look at the Georgie fan, celebrating on another team whipping up on Spurrier b/c we all know UGA won't (and never has) done it themselves. Lay-Oooze-Zay-Hers

kls82883
kls82883

@Borodawg Why would he hate UGA? He owns them. If anything, he loves them. They're a guaranteed W each year.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

@Borodawg JMO but not no but HELL- NO. No pass rush vs Tex A&M isn't a great plan. They have some outstanding receivers and the QB had all day for them to run open.


USCe isn't as bad as they appeared but again the DL is average and that bodes very well for UGA.

keendaddy
keendaddy

@Dewnsav

I'm shocked he made an appearance after all the guff we've heard from them. I give him credit for that.

DawghaveMange
DawghaveMange

@GaryFr 


Like Dean Vernon Wormer famously stated:  "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life"


This directly applies to you GaryFr.

jeeperscrow
jeeperscrow

@Snagglepuss @dixiedrifter  Agree. Georgia hasn't even played a game yet (and we have a new QB also). So let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's see how we do tomorrow and in two weeks.

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@BeachGaBulldog 


You owe idiots everywhere an apology. Would you like to be compared to kls?????????????????????

TrueDawg1986
TrueDawg1986

@kls82883 UGA CONSISTENTLY stomps that POS team you love so much...LMAO at your OBSESSED TROLL self!

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@kls82883 @Borodawg 


I assume you missed their 2013 game..............just like you missed your turn when

God and CMR were passing out brains

Dewnsav
Dewnsav

@keendaddy that's all he posted today...guff...still ragging on UGA...shouldn't have made an appearance...go dogs

TrueDawg1986
TrueDawg1986

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie @DawgNole @kls82883 @Borodawg  So what kind of stupid logic is that....put Saban at USCjr and Spurrier at Bama and lets see who is on 1st base...LMAO